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Wedding Book Review - "The Engaged Groom" by Doug Gordon

Wedding planning is not the exclusive domain of the bride - that is Doug Gordon's point in his new book "The Engaged Groom". He takes the stance that no groom need be left out in the cold when it comes to the decision making. In fact there is plenty of scope for the groom to take charge of certain tasks and responsibilities. Indeed this book is a revelation, grooms now have the chance to get active with their very own wedding planning guide. It can be bought from or

"The Engaged Groom" all started with Doug's blog called with the first entry on the 2nd September 2003 at 6:17pm.

It read:

A Decent Proposal

I got engaged on Wednesday. Actually, that statement is a little too passive. Makes it seem like I picked up something on the way home from work or dropped a subscription card in the mailbox or developed some sort of temporary condition for which medication or a topical ointment is available from my doctor.

Let's start over.

I proposed to my girlfriend on Wednesday night.

To continue reading this blog entry please take a look at this page and scroll to the bottom.

I divulge, having read all 279 pages I can confidently hold my hand up and say that "The Engaged Groom" is a must read for all grooms that want to get involved in their wedding. Doug's funny style of writing makes it a real joy to read. Grooms will quickly learn a whole array of tips and practical information. In fact if they take all of his advice on board they will be heading to their local beauty salon for a manicure - it makes sense really when you think of how many people will want to see the groom's ring on the big day!

Whether they have just a few questions or many this is definitely the book for all grooms. As a bride, if your groom is worried about how to minimize the risk of his best man forgetting the rings (page 237) or how he can ensure he won't say the wrong thing during the speeches (page 251) - this is the book for him.

I practicularly liked the following sections, for their excellent overviews and useful tips :

Paying for the Wedding - Doug gives a good review of the various costs associated with planning a wedding. Interestingly he picks up on the how often couples forget to budget for gratuities, something I have extensively written about here.

Picking a Date and Venue - I quickly learnt the pros and cons of having your wedding on a holiday three day weekend and in addition the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a destination wedding.

The Guest List - Planning a guest list is never easy, as Lesley Anne recently wrote about here, but Doug gives some great insights. This is your chance to learn who definitely does need to be invited. You can also get the lowdown on inviting the President of the United States or The Pope!

Food and Music - This is your chance to have your cake and eat it! Doug recounts the day he ate no fewer than ten pieces of cake at three different bakeries. If you have a sweet tooth you definitely want to be involved with choosing the wedding cake - especially when prices at soar to as high as $10 or $15 a slice.

Turn to page 65 for an entertaining list of inappropriate songs. It is highly advisable that you always listen to the lyrics first, especially for the all important first dance. The list doesn't just stop at slow dances, some well known disco classics should be placed on your DJ's "Do Not Play List".

Photography - Here I agree with Doug, disposable cameras definitely belong to the "Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time" file. Today most guests have digital cameras and are more than happy to share their photographs with you.

On the subject of videographers, page 75 neatly sums up why this isn't an area to get too stressed about. Also check out the tips on how to make signifcant savings on this aspect of the wedding.

Best man Duties - Doug answers your questions on whether you can have two best men, or even have a female one! More importantly he gives his opinion on what groomsmens and bridesmaids should wear - it's a refreshingly honest approach that many more couples should adopt (Page 92).

What to Wear and How to Look Your Best - Expert advice on which tuxedo to wear, along with helpful hints on whether your build is best suited to a single-breasted jacket, double-breasted jacket, tailcoat or morning coat. You can also take advantage of the "How to Tie a Bow Tie" page which has been deliberately reversed so as you can tie your bow tie looking in the mirror!

Save-the-Date, Announcements, Invitations, and Getting the Word Out - "The Engaged Groom" is full of valuable tips, such as the one called "The Separation of Church and Crate (& Barrel) on page 122. Doug makes it clear that in no circumstances should you send the invitation and the registry information together. This is a massive faux pas, but unfortunately it has to be said many couples still do it. Reading other tips on getting the assembly of invitations right (page 126), the value of using wedding planning software (page 130) and why B-list wedding guest lists are more trouble than they are worth (page 133) is highly recommended.

Registries, Wedding Showers, and Thank You Notes - I really enjoyed reading the section on what things you want to register for, but shouldn't on page 150. It is both humorous and informative - a great reminder that you aren't bound to the traditional registry list of kitchen and dinnerware! Doug dicusses the whole art of getting your Thank You notes written with thought and appreciation, with particular reference to what you should and shouldn't say.

Planning the Honeymoon - Traditionally this is the groom's responsibility and though he is expected to pay for it, it really should be a joint decision as to where you go. Discover the benefits of delaying your honeymoon and why a "minimoon" might be just right for you!

The Bachelor Party - This is one of the most entertaining sections of the book. I love Doug's humour, neatly summed up in this quote:

You'll have plenty of chances to party with your friends in the future, and if you're worried that your marriage will mean a loss of your freedom. I suggest you talk to a therapist and not a stripper.

The book is full of practical advice and some common sense reminders, for example:

Never, never, never be hungover on your wedding day.

Doug leaves the debate on whether strip clubs on a bachelor party are a good idea to others, by including a random sampling of quotes from eight different women. Definitely worth reading.

A Groom's Checklist - Emergency Provisions - Turn to page 230 for a list of things that every groom should have packed in a small bag on their wedding list. Items range from personal care prodcuts, spare clothing to miscellanous essentials that are all to easy to forget.

You might not catch your groom browsing through all your wedding magazines, but I can guarantee he will find "The Engaged Groom" of real interest. Buy it today.

Doug has been interviewed and featured on TV and radio stations across the country, including this appearance on the "Today Show". You can check out the book's official website at and the MySpace site at

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78 Free Wedding Tips And Book

As you plan your wedding you will receive advice from just about everyone. Friends and family have a million and one tips to pass on, in fact here at Wedaholic I have been offering tips galore. For example tips on wedding djs, getting guests to mingle, giving a great speech and tipping wedding suppliers to name just a few!

To give you a flavour of what to expect I have copied the types of wedding tips you will receive below:

Sample Tip 1 :

At the reception hall, fill baskets in the bathroom with miniature hand lotions, breath mints, hair sprays, and hair gels for emergency touch-ups. You may also want to put out a basket with a few inexpensive pairs of pantyhose and
some clear nail polish.

"Thanks for all the tips..and for making them genuinely "free".... the tips I found most helpful of your's were about etiquette ... it helps to remind brides of other people's feelings when they are getting caught up in their own! And that idea about giving framed pictures to the parents is one I will definately do! Blessings!" - Suzanne, US

Sample Tip 2 :

Don’t forget grandparents and other relatives who may feel “left out” during the preparations before the wedding. Take a camera along when you are shopping for your dress or looking at flowers.

Send pictures with a quick note that says, “Here’s me rubbing my feet after trying on shoes that were murder!” Or “Aunt Joan, the flowers were beautiful, but I wish you could have been there.”

"Just wanted to thank you for all of the wonderful tips! I enjoy reading them every week!! I will use you're advice throughout the planning of my wedding and on the big day! Thanks again" - Dan

Sample Tip 3 :

For bridesmaids' dresses, consider separates, especially if you have attendants whose sizes and shapes vary widely. Skip the bridal stores and check out department stores for evening skirts and separate tops that are made of luxurious fabrics and trimmed with beading or embroidered details.

"Dear Emily your tips have been very helpful to me in planning for my wedding thank you for all of your help, looking forward to receiving other tips from you. Best Regards" - Cornelia, US

The Idiot's Guide To The Perfect Stag Weekend In Galway
Date: September 11, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Groom & Planning & Reviews & Stag Party

My husband recently returned from a stag weekend in Galway. He was more than happy to offer some advice for any best man considering this beautiful West Ireland city as an option for a stag.

The following tips are based on a very successful stag that took place from Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th September 2006. Follows these guidelines and you will be more than half way to having a stag weekend that the groom will never forget!

Travel to Galway :

For an overall view of which airlines fly to Galway airport from the UK, please visit this page at

Aer Arann flies into Galway from Belfast City, Cardiff, Cork, Dublin, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, Luton, and Manchester. Flying directly into Galway means you are a 15min taxi ride (approx €15) from the city centre.

If the stag party is coming from the South and East of England and in particular London you may find cheaper options by flying to Shannon on RyanAir. Parties travelling from the South West of England can take advantage of EasyJet's flight to Shannon. A full lisitng of airlines flying to Shannon from the UK can be found here.

Shannon is 90Km (56miles) from Galway and though this might not seem far, it can take as long as 90 minutes. The AA's route planner for Ireland suggests it will take about 75 minutes but as the roads are poor expect it to take longer. There is a bus service operated by Bus Eireann, but again with the single carriageway roads the journey takes just under 2 hours.

The following rental companies have desks at Shannon airport: Avis, Budget, Europcar, Dan Dooley, Hertz, National, Sixt and Thrity

Accommodation in Galway :

It is highly recommended that you stay at Jurys Inn on Quay Street in Galway. This hotel wins over on all accounts. The location is central, and right in the heart of the city. If you are driving in be sure to print this map, so as you are fully aware of the one way systems. When you have spent over an hour and half drving from Shannon, the last thing you want is to having difficulty finding the hotel. Unfortuantely with the roads in Galway it is all to easy to end up looping the city a few times!

As well as a central location, you should be able to negogiate rates of approx €60 per person sharing a 3 person room. Ideally you will get a twin room with a sofa bed, but this isn't always the case so it is best to check.

The hotel bar is perfect for meeting up pre stag nights. Many stags can break up into smaller groups half way through the night if some people haven't eaten. Thus take advantage of the hotel's menu before heading up Quays Street for your evening out. The bar is open until 1:30am.

Breakfast is served in their restuarant called "Innfusion". Available from 8 - 11 am, so ideal for those parties who have been out late.

Pubs in Galway :

By all means visit other pubs and clubs in Galway but without doubt a great stag can be had by sticking to these 4 amazing venues:

The Kings Head at 15 High Street

Everyone recommends The Kings Head and it is easy to see why. This is a large pub that stretches over 3 floors and their nightly rock gigs at the back of the pub are fantastic. Other attractions include lunchtime theatre and Sunday jazz sessions.

Sonny's Bar & Restaurant on the High St / The Front Door on Cross Street

Sonny's is spread over two floors and stretches between two streets. A great pub for a stag party with 4 bars. Food is served from 10am to late evening.

Taaffes Pub at 19 Shop Street

Taaffes is by far the smallest of the four recommended pubs. The Guinness is great here and the live Irish music at the back of the pub make for an excellent craic!

The Quays on Quay Street

Finish your night in The Quays and I promise you a night to remember. This venue is split into two parts with two separate entrances. It is important that you move to the part that has the live music (on the right hand side as you look at it from the outside) and the later drinking hours for the ultimate craic! An admission charge of approx €10 charged near the end of the night is well worth it. You can't fail to have a terrific night.

Where to Eat in Galway :

Of course there are many places to eat in Galway. This review is simply here to tell you what the best Indians in the city are:

i. Kashmir is across the bridge from the Spanish Arch.
ii. Tulsi beside the Augustine Church on Buttermilk Walk, Middle Street
iii. Eastern Tandoori on Spanish Parade
iv. Kumar's Tastes of Asia at Swan House on Flood Street

Head for the Charcoal Grill on Cross Street Lower for an excellent kebab and burger. At a minute's walk from Quay Street there is no doubt you will be there come 3 in the morning!

Activities in Galway :

For the mature stag there is alway Galway golf club as they accept visitors on Fridays and Saturdays (limited).

Typically though you will want something a little more adventurous - The Killary Adventure Centre fits the bill perfectly. It is 70km (44 miles) from Galway - but please don't let that deceive you into thinking you will be there in under the hour. I would suggest leaving at least an hour and a half, though the scenery is stunning the roads are slow and winding. Contact the Centre here to organise a fantastic day out before you hit the bars at night.

Finally chill out on the Sunday at the famous Galway Races. There are three meetings every year, called Summer (7 days), Autumn (3 days) and October (2 days).

Enjoy your stag or hen party in Galway. Please leave comments on your experience and any information that you feel would help someone planning their stag.

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Fancy Bungee Jumping 440 Feet For Your Stag Party?

Fancy Bungee Jumping 440 Feet For Your Stag Party?
Date: April 29, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Weddings & Stag Party & Unique Ideas

Is your future husband looking for great ideas for his stag?

If so, why not get him to participate in a spot of bungee jumping and stock car racing!

This is exactly what Steve Williams, long term caddy to Tiger Woods, did prior to his wedding to Kirsty Millar.

Best man Tiger joined Steve on the Nevis Highwire near the South Island township of Queenstown for the 440 feet jump. They both jumped from a cable car held by 1,247 feet of tension wires spanning the Nevis Valley - eight seconds later they were faced with just a 100 feet gap between the canyon's walls. No wonder this is regarded as one of the world's most incredible challenges for all adventure tourists!

The following day saw Steve and Tiger take part in a 12 lap celebrity stock car race just south of Auckland on the North Island. This was a new experience for Tiger , but not so Steve who when not caddying is a New Zealand champion in modified saloon cars. One can only imagine the small print in their respective insurance policies, when asked about it Tiger stated it had been "taken care of".

Money was raised during the day for the Steve Williams Foundation, to help provide sporting careers for disadvantaged youth.

More sedate stag and hen ideas can be found on!

Related Posts :
CLICK HERE & GRAB WITH BOTH HANDS Your 273 Page Book To Planning The Perfect Wedding - No Catch - No Hassle - Simply Click For Your Secret To A Perfect Wedding
Wedding Book Review - "The Engaged Groom" by Doug Gordon
The Idiot's Guide To The Perfect Stag Weekend In Galway

As you plan your wedding you will receive advice from just about everyone. Friends and family have a million and one tips to pass on, in fact here at Wedaholic I have been offering tips galore.